“Everything is possible for him who believes.” — Mark 9:23

Many longtime readers of the blog have asked me if I have my California Real Estate license now.  So I wanted to give you an update and share with you some of the useful lessons about manifesting Big Dreams that I’ve learned on my journey thus far. I hope these lessons will be helpful to YOU as you pursue your own dreams. It’s kind of a long story, so I’m going to cut it into bite-sized pieces over the next three blogs.

How the Big Dream Came About

Newer readers can catch up with  past blogs #128 through #134 about our “Turtle Trailer” retirement saga at www.practicalprosperitycoach.com. As a brief recap, my Realtor husband and I lost our entire life savings in the Great Recession, went through bankruptcy, and had one car and two homes repossessed in the process. Using the same  manifestation techniques I teach to my coaching clients, we managed to survive five long years of precarious finances to finally emerge last year with real hope for our financial future.  Thanks to a once-again hot Southern California Real Estate market, we began to make plans for rebuilding some of our lost retirement savings.

Last Summer, the concept of “retirement” seemed like a pretty far-fetched dream for us, since we are both in our 60s with zero savings. While my coaching practice has thrived for 10 years and continues to pay our monthly bills,  Rick’s real estate commissions between 2008 and 2013 provided just enough to cover the rent, with nothing left over at the end of each month for savings.

Part of our Grand Plan for rebuilding our finances was for me to get my Real Estate license and begin helping Rick part-time to market himself so he could increase his client base more quickly to take advantage of the upturn. Real Estate is cyclical, so we knew we needed to make hay as quickly as possible if we were going to be able to sock away a decent amount for our “golden years.”  I was confident that I could continue to coach full-time on weekdays and still have a couple of evenings and the weekends available to help Rick grow his business.

So I began studying and passed the three required California Real Estate courses last November.  I was hoping to take the California Real Estate Exam in December, but then our Big Dream took a little detour, which is why I am just this week submitting my application to take the  exam this Spring instead.

Although our consumer debts had, thankfully, been wiped out by our 2010 bankruptcy, there is no “forgiving” tax debt. Being self-employed, and were both supposed to make quarterly estimated tax payments. But we needed every penny we made each month just to survive, so our tax debt steadily grew over the past four years.  We stayed in integrity by filing our taxes and making monthly payments to the IRS, but the debt (including penalties and interest) just kept growing larger until it finally reached the mid-five figures and the IRS said “enough.” They notified us that they wanted their money NOW and they placed a lien against any future property we might acquire (which nixed us ever buying a second car again).

Lesson #1: Never Give Up on Your Dreams

OK, so in circumstances that look hopeless, this is where possibility thinking comes in handy!  Even when things look bleak, rule number one for making what you want a reality is: Never give up! I decided that if were ever going to rebuild our financial future, we had to face the situation head on with as much BELIEF as we could muster.

When you COMMIT 100% to a goal, you are really taking the first of the three steps for using the Law of Attraction to manifest what you want: First, you  must ASK for what you want, no matter how far-fetched it appears that you can get it.  So I asked God/The Universe: “Please show us HOW to pay off our taxes so we can live in integrity and create the  future we want.” 

Shortly thereafter, I came across a notice that in January 2013, the government had created a streamlined program to help underwater taxpayers make an Offer in Compromise to settle their tax debt for less than the full amount owed.  The odds weren’t particularly good (just 20% of all OICs got accepted). Still, I knew that if it was humanly POSSIBLE to do something, no matter how long the odds, we must never give up trying. In manifesting, YOUR job is not to know the “How”; your job is simply to ASK for what you want and then do whatever you know how to do right NOW to show your commitment to your goal. Then you must BELIEVE that the “How” will be shown to you at the perfect time.

So I asked God/The Universe to be shown exactly HOW to create an Offer In Compromise for the IRS. (The simplified paperwork is still pretty complicated, with lots of documentation required to prove income and expenses — especially for the self-employed). Within a very short time, I realized I had a great resource right under my nose: One of my wonderful coaching clients is a tax accountant!

The How Appears!

I called Charity (yes, that’s her name) and she said she would be delighted to help us. She had done several OICs, all of which had been accepted.  She is a possibility thinker, and her confidence helped us to believe we could triumph too. Step by step, she guided us for a couple of months to assemble all the necessary paperwork into a beautifully-organized package that we mailed to the IRS in June, 2013, with a sense of peaceful confidence that our offer would quickly be accepted.

Months went by with no word.  Then at the beginning of the Holidays, just as I was about to dive into preparations to take my California Real Estate Exam, we got a rejection letter.  By their calculations, the IRS claimed that we should be able to pay off the FULL amount we owed in just three years!

This was NOT remotely the truth.  But as we soon learned, unlike federal tax laws, for Offers in Compromise, the IRS uses a different set of “standards” for business deductions and cost-of-living expenses that apply broadly to different regions of the country.  So even though Orange County, California has one of the highest rental rates in the country, the IRS “standard” says that a family of three is allowed to deduct about HALF of what we are actually paying to rent a modest middle class home. The IRS’s position is that we could always move to someplace cheaper to live so we could pay our tax debt. That was our problem, not theirs.

I was crestfallen and self-righteously angry that “the idiots” at the IRS apparently have no interest in dealing with reality. However, they did offer us one remaining sliver of hope: Enclosed with the rejection letter was another form for filing an “Appeal” if we chose to. We had 30 days from the date of the letter to put together additional information to convince an independent auditor that the IRS was wrong and we were right.  Our Holiday plans and my Real Estate exam would just have to wait. We were fighting for our financial survival once again.

Next week, I will share with you the miraculous assistance that came from a most improbable source, which taught me a lesson that changed our future. Stay tuned!

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What do you want for your life? My “job description” as a coach is simply this: I help you get what YOU want. I invite you to schedule a complimentary phone consultation where together we’ll explore your big dreams and determine if coaching can assist you in reaching them. I have programs and coaching specialties for every need. Learn more at: http://practicalprosperitycoach.com or contact me at caroll@practicalprosperitycoach.com or toll free at 888-503-8145. Contact me TODAY to schedule a complimentary phone consultation!